26 December 2016


 Calvin and Norah were such good little kiddles waiting on Christmas morning for the A-OK to come upstairs. They had to wait for Nate to snowblower the driveway because we had a wonderful Christmas Snow. It was powdery and everything looks wonderful now.
They were also good kiddles and were very excited about their presents and said thank you and played with the toys for hours afterward. Maggie even had the decency to sleep through the gift-opening. Then we had church at 9:00 and it was a really nice mostly-music sacrament meeting. 
This is the picture I took on Christmas Eve morning when I was a big sissy and turned around on a trail run with some hardcore runners. It was slick and steep and I was just like, "Sorry ladies, gotta go!" and turned around and ran allllll the way down. Ha. 

22 December 2016

milk drunk

I just almost posted a really long post about the trials of breastfeeding Magnolia but I got bored proofreading it. It would have been written like this: 
The Trials of Breastfeeding Magnolia

But anyway, she was supposed to be getting milk drunk and falling asleep a few minutes ago, and she didn't (as usual). So I turned on some twinkle lights in the kitchen, made myself some hot chocolate, and prepared to make pumpkin bread instead. Let me just summarize the deleted post: breastfeeding this baby has been a trial. (Have you ever heard of milk blisters?) 

Now here she is cozily asleep on her auntie Carly at Calvin's Christmas concert last week. Because not only is breastfeeding going the way of the buffalo, but napping is becoming a TRIAL as well. (Except when Carly holds her.)

21 December 2016

the little house in the big woods effect

We read The Little House in the Big Woods early this winter, and it was so very fitting for the season. I don't think it is Calvin's favorite book we've read this year (no whizzpopping or anything) but we did both like it--the descriptions of slaughtering a pig and patting a bear on the nose and driving to cousins' house for Christmas in a sleigh. Very cozy and wintry: even though half of it takes place in the warm months it just seems like a winter book. Not only that, but once we started reading it, it popped up everywhere. In lists to read out loud to kids, Christmas gift ideas and even the new Gilmore Girls! Nate calls that The Little House in the Big Woods Effect. 

Similarly cocooning ourselves inside this December like the Wilder family, we have hardly gone outside at all. Who am I. It has been colder than usual this December--really cold. Also...BABY. So even though I am sad to admit it, we haven't used the stroller once in December. Just typing that makes me want to go for a walk. Anyway, here are some things we've been doing instead:

Watching Calvin's kindergarten Christmas program, which was amazing. Kindergarteners are the best singers and they don't care who knows it. They also like to do actions and hummmm on kazoos.
 This year in addition to getting her Master's and her regular teaching stuff, Trudy had foot surgery and decided not to make six million gingerbread houses. We were like, GOOD, please go rest so your foot can heal...but we wanted a gingerbread house so Carly and I took the responsibility together and made a couple. I (as I knew I would) was pretty bad at making the gingerbread, but they actually turned out, and it was fun. 
 The other morning I had to take Andy to an appointment at 8:15, but Calvin wasn't awake when we had to leave so Nate took him to work with him. When we went to go pick him up, they were eating breakfast from the cafeteria and hanging out in the conference room. We've visited Nate at work dozens of times, but this time was just a little different and more fun. The kids watched the cheese slicers from above and Nate pointed out some of the more notorious employees to me. It was exactly a year ago that Nate applied for his job and we both thought--MEH, it probably won't work out and it probably isn't that great of a job anyway. Weren't we the wrongest. He was so miserable last December. His new job has been such a blessing, such a huge answer to our prayers and fasting (his, not mine--I haven't fasted for so long, thank you pregnancy and breastfeeding), and such a relief. 

14 December 2016


I have been avoiding Walmart for years. Years and years. But for some reason, Target still hasn't gotten the memo to open a store here, and so from time to time I venture in and hope I leave without swearing. (It is just a stressful place.) Well believe it or not but I took all three children there last month, didn't swear, and bought the perfect blue snowpants for Calvin. He awesomely can dress himself in snowclothes now, and he does. It's been snowing a bit this week and he outfits himself and goes and and shovels snow. I just want to know how to bottle that. 
 I haven't joined him for much frolicking because I'm almost always feeding a baby, but the other day I wasn't, so we went out. Maggie liked it, or at least didn't hate it. 
Also regarding Walmart: I have ordered my Christmas cards there (online) for three or four years now, and they are always perfectly fine. I'm not saying they're the quality of all these "presses" that spam me with coupons in November, but they are fast and look fine. And even after a 40% off coupon they are still half the price of the so-called presses that spam me with coupons. So there's that.

13 December 2016


 This morning as I was scrubb-a dubbin a baby beluga in the kitchen sink we had some visitors. (This is a common occurrence.)

THIS is Kaybee. Kabie. K.B.? I don't know how it's spelled, but Kabie is a delightful little girl who lost her parents and visits us all the time.
 THIS is who we used to call "The New Guy." Now he said his name is Calv or Sneaker. He is not only a visitor, but he has been on the news, doesn't know what normal household items are, and "used to sleep on a dead bear." WOW, Sneaker! Welcome to our home.

08 December 2016


I haven't taken any pictures since we put up our tree.
We've been very indoorsy.
It has been bittery cold--highs in the 20s, lows in the single digits. 
My phone weather app tells me it will snow for the next 10 days straight, but as soon as the time catches up with the snowflakes, the snowflakes move forward to the next hour. Will we ever catch up?

06 December 2016


Crackdown. Crack down...crack-down? That's a word, right? It's starting to sound absurd, but it's what I've been doing at home. CRACKDOWN areas: Sleeping, eating, and not arguing.

I committed to sleep training Maggie the day after Thanksgiving, and I really stink at it, but night time is now under control. Morning naps are not under control. Now she will crawl around her crib or STAND UP IN IT instead of sleeping, but if I don't give in to her she does eventually sleep, which proves I'm right! Sadly I am the worst sleep-trainer because the sound of a baby screaming is torture to me. (And to prisoners of war, or so I've heard.) So I just have to pray the m&ms hold out for the duration that she screams (more screaming, more m&ms, duh).

Our dear petite three-year-old one has always had a hard time sticking to meals and mealtimes. She's not a bad eater if you serve what she wants. Here are some things she wants: candy, cookies, milk, olives, crackers, milk, candy and cookies. And sometimes cheese. (And just for fun, here are some foods she'll ask for and then not eat: yogurt, toast, oranges, applesauce, carrots.) My general feeding philosophy is to not make a huge deal about eating an entire plateful of food, but kids are required to taste everything every time it's served. And then we usually have dessert for those who ate an adequate amount of non-treats. It's not scientific but it works. Or I should say, worked. It no longer works, for one specific child. So my new philosophy is NO SNACKS EVER. Which is no fun, but maybe she'll eat something someday again.

And last but not least, our little arguers are seeing a lot of the inside of their rooms because Nate and I are done listening to them pick (and yell) at each other. I am baffled about disciplining this one, because being sent to their rooms hasn't helped AT ALL, but I don't know what else to do. On Christmas tree day (pictured above), they spent the entire lighting of the tree in their rooms, and I would have let them stay in the whole decorating part too, but Nate was worried they'd miss a family tradition so we let them help. And then we recorded it in fast-forward and posted it on Instagram, where it looks cute and festive.

29 November 2016

it was soooo cute

When we got home from Thanksgiving, everyone stank. Especially Magnolia, but all of us. I made the girls bathe. Maggie loves the bath, and as a result she has had more baths than both of her older siblings ever had at her age. They also didn't barf as much so they stunk way less. I like to put a small amount of water in and let her crawl around. She crawls around in the water chasing foam ABCs and I just have to say, it is SO CUTE.

28 November 2016

no matter for winds that blow

Or if we get the sleigh upset into a bank of snow.*

*Translation into modern terms: or if we have to use the new car jack we bought the week before we left as a precautionary measure because we haven't driven our Tahoe any long distance since we got it last October. In fact, we haven't gone anywhere since I was pregnant with Maggie. But we had no cause to use the jack, thank goodness.

What went fine? The drive, the comfy comfy beds, the golfing, the building a pit fire for turkey roasting, the breakdancing lessons, the meal, the pies, the card games, the trail running and hiking and biking, the stuffed menagerie museum owned by a bamillioinaire in town full of big game he and his wife have shot and stuffed.

20 November 2016

thankful for / aka there were never such devoted sisters

Norah is so lucky I had Maggie! 
You know what's funny? Since I've had a boy longer, I feel a lot more like a "boy mom" than a "girl mom," even though I have twice as many girls now. It is such a relief and a surprise to me that they already love each other's company--they're pals. Norah no longer holds the power to calm down a crying Magnolia (I think she is just distracted from her goal (me) less easily now when she's upset. She's gonna hold out for the mother-pick-up so even though she likes Norah she keeps up the waterworks.) --but they play and chat and laugh together...And sing duets wearing matching sequin dresses and giant feather fans. Sisters, what lucky girls.

19 November 2016

speaking of which

Here are transcriptions or translations or something of some of my favorite notes Calvin has written lately:

(To Norah) 
Sorry for pestering.
Sorry you are sad. xoxo CCP
Dear Norah, I'm sorry I took your bracelet. I just had to get out some anger.

(To me)
You are like the sun. I love you. I hope you get your wish.
I hope you don't leave.
Mom, I'm gone. Sharpen my pencil.

(To Nate)
Nate 3, Nate 3, Nate 3
Bye Bye, I love you. CCP (this one is for when he is a grown up and moves away)

He also wrote a note to his teacher and two of his classroom aides the second day of school that said he loved them. He has written love notes to a couple of girls, his friend Duke, and Maggie.

17 November 2016

thankful for

I just love Calvin's school and him in it. 
I know homeschool is getting so trendy and the instagrammers make it look pretty fun, but the only thing that makes me really think about it seriously is not being dictated by school schedules. What I mean is, around here, the 11 year olds have to be out of the house before 7am to get to school on time. That is not cool! Not okay with me. But for now, with his schedule not messing up our lives, school is amazing.

1. He is good at it, for one thing. If it were discouraging for him, that would be a whole different ballgame--I would still like his school, but this season wouldn't be quite as golden. He likes his homework page every day, he does it quickly, and we have fun talking about what he learned. He uses vocab words, he sings songs, he spells and does math, just for fun. He loves to write notes to us, and he has gotten extremely prolific in the past two months.

2. His teacher is wonderful, for another thing. She is a friend of mine from our last ward, and I thought she was great then, but NOW--Now I know she teaches 25 5&6 year olds all morning and then turns around again and does it again in the afternoon every dang day. And she is great at it. She does have several classroom aides, who Calvin also knows and loves, and that makes his classroom even better.

3. It makes him happy. He just comes home happy which is pretty much the best recommendation there is. 

16 November 2016

thankful for

We've had beautiful warm fall weather this year, just like the year I moved to Logan. I have been really thankful for the extra outside time we've had because of it. We hiked more in the past two months than we did all summer! I'm also thankful that because of it I am looking forward to the promised cold snap this weekend.

14 November 2016

what a shame

Maggie's room has the best windows, a good view, and the best light when the blinds are drawn.
Which is almost never, since she is either napping or I am trying to get her to nap about 90% of the time the sun is up.

Hers is also the first "nursery" I have ever put a few minutes effort into decorating specifically for her. I mean, I hardly did anything, but I hung up some old dresses for decoration. She's a pretty lucky baby.

10 November 2016

the long walk

 There was an over-tired baby.
There was an over-tired mother.
The baby was so worked up it could not sleep.
So was the mother.
It was Sunday afternoon so the mother took the baby into her stroller and started walking north.
A little east, then more north. A slight veer west and then back north.
She walked about 4.75 miles. 
She made it to her old walking spot, where for the past six years she has walked with sad, worked up babies. 
The baby finally slept.
Sunday dinner was just up the road, so they went.